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Hi again,
I am still not happy with my current transportation and am still looking for a used insight. I've actually found a couple. I still am hesitant to take the jump. I still hear a thousand 'rationalizations against hybrids' from more conservative people (even manufacturers use this) for example:
chevy says" the prius is 40% more comlex (more parts) than a chevy malibu".
Posters in other car forums say (condenced versions):
-the battery pack will cost a lot to replace.
-other parts will cost a lot to replace
-its higher priced up front
-you wont end up saving any money its just to feel good about yourself
-the fuel economy wont be much higher
-you will have to drive 500,000 miles before you see any savings
etc. etc.
Now some of these arguements are somewhat factual. Others "like fuel economy wont be much higher" sound like they are rooted in people's experiences with other less efficient hybrids.
I've heard all these rationalizations 1000X
so what are the specific real world experiences you have that show that it isn't true:
e.g. "Honda replaced the battery pack so I paid nothing anyways" or "I used a universal version of an 02 sensor thus saving much $ over the custom part" or "I used a universal catalytic converter thus saving much $ over the customer part" etc.
Im not trying to flame here, but I did see a few posts that gave weight to the other forums (I remember seeing some rediculous high prices for the battery pack, 02 sensor, cat converter etc.).

Finally what are some rationalizations either For Hybrids or against traditional gas engines? I've seen plenty of rambling rationalizations against, now I need some balance!
P.S sorry for rambling, its a complex subject.
 

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Hi Davioh

Before I bought my Insight in Feb this year I looked on a UK government website to find the most economical car on sale (Insight). I then looked at autotrader and found an Insight for sale at a Honda dealer (about 80 miles away). Had a test drive and bought it on the spot (having asked the question about how much is a battery pack). I paid £6250 inc 2 years Honda warranty. I am getting on average 80mpg (with a range of between 70-99mpg depending on how I drive it). The 99mpg is the best for my 90 mile commute. Compared with the 2 litre Audi I used to have (which averaged about 25mpg) I am saving a fortune and save money even allowing for the loan to pay for it (£110 month for 5 years). UK fuel is the equivalent of $6/US gallon.

If the battery, cat etc go once out of warranty I will have to put my hand in my pocket (or hopefully buy a later model when the current warranty runs out). From a cash flow point of view it means I actually pay very little per month for my driving - I used to pay £250/month in fuel

So - dont worry about future failures - find a three year old model at a Honda dealer, get a Honda warranty and save yourself a fortune.

Hope this helps

John
 

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Your focus is too narrow.

It will be impossible to precisely quantify all the potential cost differences of most any model car vs. another.

By your apprehension of hybrids I'd say their not for you. There are several high cost potential parts that can fail prematurely and significantly change the cost per mile equation. In the Honda realm a Civic Hx driven in the hyper miler style will under cost the Insight for _many_ 10's of thousands of miles when just initial cost difference, MPG savings and IMA battery replacement is factored in the calculation. My initial _esitmate_ was 200K with gas @ $2.00 /gal and an IMA service life of 150K miles.

Of course the equation is upset if you significantly change any of the values e.g. used vs. new, cost per gallon, IMA pack cost (by my investigation was $2,900 Sept. 02, now $2,100 )etc.

The bottom line to the "equation" is time vs. money. If you choose to live near your place of work, bicycle whenever possible and use public transportation when otherwise needed then the potential for cost savings is the greatest.

So obviously most people, even we economy minded types have several other criteria we are willing to pay for vs simply the lowest cost option for our transportation. Its these choices that you must decide what their worth is to you :!:

HTH! :)
 

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"...you wont end up saving any money its just to feel good about yourself..."

What's wrong with that? Look at car ads: what are they selling, if not various ways to feel good about yourself? People who buy Lexii and BMWs do so to feel better by showing off their fianacial success; the ones who buy 'Vettes and Porsches want to feel better with a sporty new toy; the guy who goes out and buys a Hummer or giant 4WD pickup is most likely doing so in order to feel better about his insecurites re penis size and such. Anything beyond basic econo-box transportation is sold because in some way it makes the buyer feel better about themselves.

Cost is another thing people pay too much attention to. If you can't easily afford any car (not just the Insight) you should look for something cheaper. But if you can, so what? With what you'd pay for a Hummer, BMW, etc, you can replace the whole damned Insight several times over.

PS: If you REALLY want to save money, ride a bike :)
 

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davioh said:
-you wont end up saving any money its just to feel good about yourself
-you will have to drive 500,000 miles before you see any savings
I couldn't agree more. If you are looking to buy a hybrid just to save money: don't do it. It won't save money, at least not in the US with its politically guaranteed cheap gasoline.

However, if you add non-monetary values in the equation, you might come out ahead. Just ask yourself how much these are worth to you:
-reducing greenhouse gas emission
-reducing funding for OPEC and other oil producers
-driving a fun car, where fun is measured in things other than 0-60 acceleration
-competing with yourself and others for the best mpg figures
-making a statement that it doesn't always have to be an SUV
 

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davioh,
How come you don't question why someone wanting to sell you something else is producing all these negatives,it seems to me their jaws are flapping to put you off so you will buy their cars.
Just read the forum and make up your own mind.
I will say this no one can sell me anything I choose my purchases after much research and then take the plunge and purchasing the Insight has never been regretted.
If the battery pack fails and I can't afford another I will run her on gas alone and still get better mpg and produce lower emissions than most cars.

DGate
 

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Of course other auto manufacturers, such as GM, will give countless rationalizations against buying a hybrid. You have to ask yourself how many hybrids GM has on the road. The big news in Indiana is that GM is slashing tens of thousands of jobs--probably because demand for their vehicles is down. It comes off to me as a desperate measure when another auto manufacturer advertises and pushes their product by downtalking the competition instead of focusing on their own product. :roll:

(And someone correct me on this if I am wrong), but I am certain that used hybrids are actually appreciating in value in the short term. For example, a 2004 model (at least the Insight and Prius) will often retail for slightly more than a 2005 since there is no waiting list and it can actually be test-driven before purchase. Of course, this depends on mileage, condition, and location. My 2000 Insight has, at a minimum, held its value since I bought it in October despite almost being an additional year old and having 10,000 more miles on it. It has even arguably increased in value depending on which used car site I use. I am not saying that the car will never go down in value, but initial "off the lot" depreciation is virtually non-existent and the 2000/2001 models have stopped doing so as well. How many non-hybrids do this?

Gas savings compared to my previous Pontiac Firebird (admittedly a gas-guzzler at 20-22 mpg :oops: ) averages $60 per 1,000 miles at $2/gallon. So if I can get 100k miles out of my Insight that will come to about $6,000. And I am fairly certain that if I take care of the vehicle cosmetically I can sell it for parts for at least $2-3k toward the end of its life since parts are very had to come by. Since I paid $10,900 for it, my out-of-pocket for this vehicle will be around $2-3k (not taking into account repairs and maintenance, which will be a cost in any vehicle one purchases). Not bad at all for a car I hope to have for 6 years or so. :wink:

Aside from the financial numbers, there is nothing wrong with buying an Insight to feel good about yourself saving fuel/oil. This is the most common statement I hear toward hybrid owners. It really does not make sense to me, since it is very often said as a put-down. (And of course I realize this did not come from you, but rather you are relaying what we all have heard.) Why some Americans criticize those who do not want to remain dependent on foreign oil and purchase an Insight to do their part to avoid this dependence is beyond me.

My gas mileage averages 55 in the winter (no radiator block) and 65 in the summer. That is primarily in city driving. On interstate trips I am disappointed to get below 70 mph.

Good luck with your decision. Hopefully this will answer some of your questions. Overall, the Insight is a great car, and there are a lot of misconceptions out there concerning the vehicle--ironically by those who have never driven the Insight.

Rob
 

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I bought a used one.

I don't spend 7 dollars a day in gas like my WRX did.

I'm pretty happy!

:roll:
 

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So, if I understood, parts are kinda high on the insight? I was planning to buy one for both reasons, because I want something more pollution free and save on the gas. So I would like to know if parts are really THAT expensive, thanks
 

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Well,

Problem #1:

I don't have ready access to a BMW parts site, but here's one for Honda with most Insight parts AFAIK (except the CATs & IMA battery):

http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com

Problem #2:

As in my example above there are significant differences in some of the parts that appear similar on the surface, but are technically quite different with the resulting different life expectancy. E.g. spark plug might appear ridiculously high but their service life is 105k miles.

And as I have stated earlier in this thread in the Honda realm a Civic Hx when driven for maximum MPG will _likely_ (all patterns of expected end of service life parts needed being the same) outperform the Insight in terms of cost per mile until the upper 100K mile range.

HTH! :)
 

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My Insight is five yrs old now and has only ever had oil and filters plus brake fluid change,still on original 12 volt battery,Tires and brakes and runs like the day it was delivered.
With this kind of reliability from a ground breaking design why worry about parts cost.I know of conventional cars without this ability to survive problems.

DGate
 

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Finally what are some rationalizations either For Hybrids or against traditional gas engines? I've seen plenty of rambling rationalizations against, now I need some balance!
It's not a statement car. It's a technological leap forward car. Most Insighter's are impressed by the combination of factors that Honda used to increase efficiency; aerodynamics, high pressure tires, aluminium body, autostop, realtime MPG display, only two seats, a proven small internal combustion engine assisted by a battery pack, regenerative braking, etc. As a result, you find yourself discovering new things about this car even months after buying it, like conserving battery use and getting into lean mode. Some on this board love to go for high mileage. Others drive fast and love the good looks. And certainly not all of us (or even a majority?) care all that much about the environment or global petro politics.

I think most of us believe this is a revolutionary technological breakthrough that we feel privileged to own. It's many things to many people. It can save you money or not. You can drive 100 mph or not. You can piss off SUV drivers by racing them or not. You can brag to your friends that you average 80 MPG or not. But one thing's for sure, this is a new direction in car manufacturing. Hybrids are the future. But don't buy one if you think it's going to stop the debate. This car and the other hybrids on the market represent a threat to the old guard. That said, most face to face reactions to driving the Insight are positive.

Final thought: I bought my 2001 18 months ago for $9,300 and pay $2.30 per gallon in California. My car will have paid for itself compared to my old V6 Jetta in another 4 years at this rate. So consider buying used (I haven't had to replace a single part so far). :)
 

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Well put surfseeker7....by the way are you British? only noticed your spelling of aluminum with the extra i.

DGate
 

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Well put Surfseeker. Love your concept of options. :D
 

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davioh said:
Hi again,
I am still not happy with my current transportation and am still looking for a used insight. I've actually found a couple. I still am hesitant to take the jump. I still hear a thousand 'rationalizations against hybrids' from more conservative people (even manufacturers use this) for example:
This will be fun.

davioh said:
chevy says" the prius is 40% more comlex (more parts) than a chevy malibu".
I had a Malibu as a rental last weekend, flying into Manchester NH and driving to Maine, around a bit, and back, putting about 410 miles on the car (less than the range of one Insight tank).

The fuel bill was $39, roughly two tanks in the Insight here in Seattle. Keep in mind that gasoline is 60 cents more in Seattle than in New England.

In addition, the car had worse pickup and braking power than the Insight, and the engine would roar thirstily and noisily for a one-thousand-one without any momentum whenever I went to pass someone on the freeway; and then charge off to 80mph. To put it bluntly: I really missed my CVT.

I felt about thirty years too young to be driving such an UGLY big ol' car, but that's subjective.


davioh said:
Posters in other car forums say (condenced versions):
-the battery pack will cost a lot to replace.
Using my figures above as a sample, I'd say the cost of a battery pak may be made up in fuel savings--but it depends on your driving habits.


davioh said:
-other parts will cost a lot to replace
Oil changes for me are about $28 at the dealer (and aren't priced for the specific model). I replaced two key fobs for about $120; I've never had remote locks before so I don't know if that would be the same as an Accord or Mali-snooze or not.


davioh said:
-its higher priced up front
Actually, I didn't have to get the car smogged so the initial plating and registration costs were actually less.

davioh said:
-you wont end up saving any money its just to feel good about yourself
Damn, I hate feeling good while driving my car. I should have bought a Yukon and drive it around downtown as that's what I deserve driving any four-wheeled vehicle instead of my bimmer or bicycle. :p

davioh said:
-the fuel economy wont be much higher
-you will have to drive 500,000 miles before you see any savings
etc. etc.
Already covered.

davioh said:
Now some of these arguements are somewhat factual. Others "like fuel economy wont be much higher" sound like they are rooted in people's experiences with other less efficient hybrids.
I've heard all these rationalizations 1000X
so what are the specific real world experiences you have that show that it isn't true:

e.g. "Honda replaced the battery pack so I paid nothing anyways" or "I used a universal version of an 02 sensor thus saving much $ over the custom part" or "I used a universal catalytic converter thus saving much $ over the customer part" etc.
Well, I sure missed my car on my trip. I've found that Toyota and Honda dealer servicing IN GENERAL is pretty pricey, but really the hybrid system is just like any other feature. For example, Toyota RAV4s at one time needed their tires replaced every 8,000 miles. I change the oil less often (every six months) than I did with my Celica.

The only problem I've had in ten months of ownership was caused by dealer negligence (overinflated tires). So yes, if you like a car to just drive and forget about otherwise, an Insight or other hybrid might not be for you. My issue--overinflated tires--could have happened with any car.

[snip]

davioh said:
Finally what are some rationalizations either For Hybrids or against traditional gas engines? I've seen plenty of rambling rationalizations against, now I need some balance!
P.S sorry for rambling, its a complex subject.
Ever been to Gary Indiana? How about Los Angeles? Phoenix Arizona?

*POLITIC ALERT*
We'll soon have our 2,000th coalition casualty in Iraq. There are dictators in Sierra Leone, Burma--why aren't we removing them and restoring democratic process in those countries? Could it be they're not in charge of oil fields or situated in an oil-producing region?
*END POLITIC ALERT*

Chicks dig hybrids. Guys did hybrids. It's a cue the owner can make thoughtful purchasing decisions.

It's fun to answer weird questions. It's fun to go to the gas station where nobody knows your name.

Hybrids come with a lot of bells and whistles for creature comforts (well, perhaps not Billy's, but he's got a rare trimline).
 

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Buying a hybrid makes a lot of sense if you commute a substantial distance everyday. (I feel ~50 mi/day is pretty substantial distantce)

The car drive like any other cars out there, and there is no need to drive it any different to get twice the gas mileage of 99% of the cars out there. (some exceptions: other hybrids & diesel cars.)

For a family that does not need a 4 seater car & mainly uses the car to commute, nothing can beat an Insight (at this time).

Sure, it could be better in terms of its performance and technology, but that goes same for all other cars.

It's just too bad that my Insight will only get to see 2 mile/day commutes in a month or so. :(
 

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As for the cost of battery pack replacement: Honda just replaced mine this week for free, as it was still under warranty. I bought a 2000 Insight in October 2004, and the mileage was low enough that when the 144V battery died this spring, the replacement was entirely covered by warranty.

It was the first battery pack that my Honda dealership had ever had to replace.

Another potential hidden savings in buying the Insight is that the aluminum structure should be much more resistant to corrosion than steel cars. Here in New England it seems that most cars dissolve after about 10 years due to winter salt on the roads. My last car was a Mazda Protege 1992 model with 200,000 miles on it whose gas tank was rusting out (along with everything else on the underside of the car). The engine still ran beautifully but I couldn't afford to keep replacing a different rusty part each month. (had already replaced radiator and axle due to rust).

Part of the allure of the Insight was the idea that maybe I could get a car to last longer. So the savings over the long term may be that the Insight lasts me 20 years, whereas any other car I might buy I would have to replace in 10.

This may be all wishfull thinking, but having to buy a car only half as often would be a huge cost savings. That, and I'm consistently getting twice the mpg on my Insight as I was on the Protege (even with a dead 144V battery!!) (savings for me about $350 per year).

Sara
 
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